Read my story

As one of the nation’s leading advocates for transgender justice, Chase Strangio ’10 served as a lead counsel for whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who came out as trans while in military custody, in her civil case against the Department of Defense, is at the forefront of the movement to let transgender students use single-sex spaces matching their gender identity, and is part of a team taking on the Trump administration’s ban on trans people serving in the military.

“I went to law school to do this kind of work,” says Chase, a staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. “Becoming a lawyer was part of situating myself in ways that could be helpful to the people I care about.”

When it comes to the restroom fight, Chase sees the issue in terms of the right to exist in public life. “If you can’t go to the bathroom, you can’t go to school or have a job,” says Chase, who came out as trans during law school. “You can’t go to the movies or a restaurant. This is really a question of whether or not as a society we’re going to let trans people participate and be part of our social fabric.”

Co-op

Peter Cicchino Youth Project, Urban Justice Center, New York

On his first co-op, Chase was involved in direct legal services with homeless and street-involved youth, including on issues related to public benefits, immigration and housing.  

Activities

  • Queer Caucus
  • Ending the Prison Industrial Complex
  • National Lawyers Guild

Co-op

Sylvia Rivera Law Project, New York

Chase worked with staff attorneys representing trans individuals in prison and jail. 

Electives

  • Bioethics and the Law
  • Federal Courts and the Federal System
  • Gender and Sexuality Law

Co-op

Legal Aid Society, New York

Working side by side with public defenders, Chase participated in all aspects of criminal proceedings, including arraignments and trials.

Co-op

Sylvia Rivera Law Project, New York

For his final co-op, Chase returned to SRLP, which had offered him a post-grad job. 

After graduation

Sylvia Rivera Law Project, New York

With a prestigious Equal Justice Works Fellowship, Chase spent two and a half years providing direct representation to trans individuals with psychiatric disabilities who were in prison and jail.

Now

Staff Attorney, ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project, New York

Result

One of the nation’s most creative and committed advocates for trans rights.